General Recruiting Tips

  1. Start early: Begin your job search well before your graduation date. Remember you are only allowed 90 days to be unemployed if you are working under OPT. It's important to give yourself enough time to research companies and apply to multiple job openings. 

  2. Understand work authorization requirements: Make sure you understand the work authorization requirements for your visa status. You may need to obtain work authorization before accepting a job offer.

  3. Disclose your status: Be honest about your visa status. You do not want to slip through the cracks but end up wasting your time or the employer's time if they are not willing or able to sponsor your visa. Find companies that will value you.
  4. Be strategic: It’s essential that you know which companies are open to hiring international students, otherwise you might be wasting time. Check out our list of international friendly company or use filter on Handshake to see which companies accept CPT/OPT.
  5. Highlight your strength as an international: Focus on your skills and qualifications during the job interview, rather than your visa status. This will help you stand out as a strong candidate. Also think about your unique strength and what you can bring to the table as an international. Your language and global mindset might be exceptionally valuable!
  6. Build your network: Reach out to alumni, professors, and other professionals in your field. They may have connections or know of job openings that you might not have heard of.





Additional Resources

International Friendly Company List

Learn about companies and organizations that have hired Engineering Illinois international students on the OPT.

Learn More


Check out's H1B database to look for companies that are willing to hire internationals in the long-term.

Learn More

Career Certificates for International Students

The University Career Center is offering Career Certificate Program to prepare international students for U.S. job search.

Learn More

Having Questions about Any of the Steps?

Make an Appointment with ECS to Discuss Your Steps